Air traffic controllers are using advanced procedures to space aircraft closer together on takeoff and landing at major U.S. airports, making early progress toward a major goal of the NextGen ATC modernization effort: increasing airspace capacity.
Air traffic controller
The deployment of Lockheed Martin’s formerly troubled en-route automation modernization (Eram) system should serve as an example of the program execution critical to the success of the complex NextGen ATC modernization effort, according to the company’s CEO, Marillyn Hewson.
A remotely controlled ATC tower constructed by Saab for Norway’s Avinor air navigation service has passed the site acceptance tests that will eventually allow for a smoother fit into the Sesar air traffic management system, Europe’s version of NextGen, once final testing of the facility’s operations is completed.
New en route air traffic control radar for the Nigerian flight information region should be operational by April 12, according to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). A NAMA spokesman said a considerable number of air traffic controllers have already been trained in preparation for the new Lagos and Kano sectors opening for live traffic. The implementation of new voice communications has also been completed at 13 airports in Nigeria.
Representatives from Japan’s government and Narita Airport are here (Booth No. 3831) to describe recent initiatives to promote business aviation in their country. Japan, with the world’s third largest economy (recently surpassed by China), is home to 68 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, 52 of which are based in the greater Tokyo area. Yet the country until recently has not embraced corporate aviation.
On Tuesday, President Obama nominated acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to lead the agency for a full five-year term. He was tapped as the acting chief in early December, after now-former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned in the wake of a drunk-driving arrest in Northern Virginia.
A number of photos and videos provided to Fox News in New York by a source that news organization refused to name, showed some White Plains air traffic controllers asleep in the tower cab. Other shots showed controllers using their cell phones in the cab. The unnamed source implied these activities took place when controllers should have been actively engaged in monitoring air traffic.
At an awards banquet last night in Atlanta, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) awarded its Archie League Medal of Safety Awards to controllers who displayed exceptional professionalism, composure and quick thinking in dealing with emergencies.
After four decades in aviation, having seen the best–and worst–of the industry, I am still moved by some of the unheralded work of the folks who work in and around aviation. While the heroes of flight (yes, Sully, you are one of them) do get the recognition they justly deserve, there are others in all kinds of occupations who do amazing work for little, if any, public recognition.
Bedeviled by political gamesmanship and misfortune, it’s a wonder the FAA gets anything done—never mind accomplishing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). With the latest transition in FAA leadership, we’ve come full circle to the situation that prevailed when President George W. Bush left office three years ago, with an interim administrator and no reauthorization.